Bernd Schröder is retiring this Friday. The honorary president of Turbine Potsdam, who led the fortunes of the Potsdam football club as a coach and manager for around 45 years until 2016, would like to celebrate his 80th birthday with his wife in peace and quiet. “The mobile phone will definitely be switched off,” he says. So nobody will be able to fall back on Schröder’s expertise to analyze the EM quarter-finals on Thursday evening between Germany and Austria.
Schröder, who was born in Lübeck in 1942 and was in charge of the newly founded women’s team in Potsdam from 1971, has of course observed the course of the tournament from a distance. “I’m following the tournament with great interest, after all I’ve worked with 14 or 15 players who are involved in the European Championship,” says Schröder. In the German squad there is a quartet with a Turbine past, with backup goalkeeper Ann-Katrin Berger, defenders Sara Doorsoun and Felicitas Rauch and attacking player Svenja Huth.
But Schröder’s view goes beyond these acquaintances. The celebrant is following the development of the industry with which he has been associated for half a century. “Women’s football has developed enormously,” says Schröder. The hosts from England and the French in particular have become enormously professional. “The hype that you are now seeing is amazing.”
At the same time, he warns against exaggerated expectations for the next development steps. “In Denmark, Norway and Switzerland it has stagnated recently. And we have to work hard in Germany, too.” In recent years, numerous youngsters have been lost.
“We don’t need to hide at the top, but it will only be sustainable if it’s also right across the board,” says Schröder, who has received the State Cross of Merit and the Federal Cross of Merit for his services and the honorary award for his life’s work from the DFB .
Schröder does not like the fact that the headlines about his heart club have been rather negative recently. “Some things went unfortunate here.” He is referring to the separation from coach Sofian Chahed and the subsequent resignation of President Rolf Kutzmutz, who was taken by surprise by this decision. For his birthday he would like the club to raise its profile.
“The experience we have here can hardly be topped,” says Schröder. Together with the women and juniors he won 37 national and international titles. Turbine was champion six times, both in the GDR and after reunification. There are also three DFB Cup victories, and he also won the European Cup twice with the Potsdam team.
From his point of view, however, it would make more sense to look ahead. Schröder also applies this to himself. “I would also like to use the peace and quiet to think about the next few years.”